Dream Sigil, Stone Portal
Bones FKA Ayesha Tan-Jones
Private View: 3/11/21 6-9pm
Exhibition open to the general public by appointment only
from the 4th of November
to the 12th of December 2021
Dream Sigil, Stone Portal presents a labyrinth of ritual objects from Ayesha Tan Jones’ performances, paintings and installations. Yearning towards ancestral knowledge, the exhibition maps portals for postmemory existence through a dystopian ecopoetics.
The interactive installation Dream Portal Sigil Stones draws on the eco-trash narrative of Una Jynxx, a mystic blogger who is declared missing. Taking the form of a dream journey, the piece centres around queer circularity, rot and rebirth. As Una stumbles through shifting temporalities, they struggle to articulate their point of origin, looping, hitting dead ends and finding medicine in myths. They are rebirthed each day, their post-apocalyptic existence a soup of pre-birth memories. A displaced subject, they emerge through what Marianne Hirsch terms postmemory, the relationship to powerful experiences of previous generations, which transfers to post-generations as affective memories. They swim in this circular existence, trashing binary codes, navigating toxic vegetation, and fermenting firmware with tears.
The installation is activated through censors in the soil, which mobilise different directions of the protagonist’s dream. As we help to guide young, wide-eyed Una in their search for purpose, we witness their transformation into a caretaker, taking visceral root in the Earth, ether and martian soil. The installation is sculpted of clay from London’s ancient woodlands, visual glyphs that mirror queer bodies and visions. Dream Portal Sigil Stones reminds us that we must sculpt spaces for our collective futures, walking paths our descendents will be proud to dream back to.
*words by Tamara Hart
List of Works
1 - 3. Dream portal sigil stones
Clay and soil from London’s ancient forests, Wires, rosemary, bay leaves, copper, water
4. Dream after screen (Running time: infinite)
As part of Dream Portal Sigil Stones, Ayesha Tan Jones will host a clay making and world-building workshop with researcher Tamara Hart, who adopts play as a methodology to explore social remapping and queer architecture. The workshop takes as a starting point the Chinese creation myth of Nu Wa, who uses clay to shape humanity out of her loneliness. It centres a collective practice of ‘worlding’ through clay building, anti-origin myths and queer transformation.
18 Trading Estate Road
Sunday, 28th Nov, 3-5pm
Led by Tamara Hart & Ayesha Tan Jones
As part of Dream Sigil, Stone Portal, Ayesha Tan Jones will host a clay making and world-building workshop with researcher Tamara Hart, who adopts play as a methodology to explore social remapping.
The workshop takes as a starting point the Chinese myth of Nüwa 女媧, who creates humanity out of their loneliness. A deity with a snake body and human head, Nüwa existed alone on earth, in terrible need of companionship. They cried to the birds and fish, but no one answered. So they mixed clay with water to mold figures in their likeness, sculpting the first humans into being.
The workshop adopts clay-making as a speculative tool to sculpt spaces for communities to form. Participants will first be guided through a set of rituals, combining the planetary alignments of different herbs, sounds and objects to inhabit a collective space. They will then use clay to mold ‘sigils’ - symbolic representations of their desired universes, or outcomes. Using play as a tool, the quest of the session is to form ‘sigil stones’ together; pre-mythic materials that open temporary portals to alternate universes. Each participant will bring a deep desire that informs their worldview, using dreams to reimagine structures around collectivity and care.
To attend the workshop please send your name and a recent dream you have had to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants will be required to bring a deep desire and a small personal object to the session.
Recipes for World-building: The Rot & Rebirth of Dreams